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Fishing in Turbulent Waters

Apr 2 (GV) Newly initiated development projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in post-war Sri Lanka are expected to open new avenues towards ethnic reconciliation, as proclaimed not only by govt media but also by the mainstream development scholarship. However, this popular perception about opening up new avenues for reconciliation through development seems to foreclose certain barriers and obstructions existing within the so called development highway itself, more..

Pictorial health warnings on tobacco products could minimise deaths

Apr 2 (SO) The National Cancer Hospital and the President of the Cancer Care Association Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, actively involved in a humanitarian service to discourage Sri Lankans from cigarette smoking in an interview with the Observer welcomed the Govt's assurance to print pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets. He also endorsed the decision of the Govt to ban cigarette smoking in public more..

'Just one question: Did Pillay eat or feed the dead rope?'

Apr 2 (LB) Where exactly Geneva 2012 would lead us, is something of a futuristic query and very few of us would have the real answers to that one. The resolution on Sri Lanka was adopted and is therefore now a fait accompli. Many of the analyses that followed, went on the basis of this so-called done-deal which many say cannot be wished away, and has therefore to be complied with. The veracity of that kind of claim needs a deeper going analysis. more..

The buck of corruption floats up

Apr 2 (CT) ‘The Rising Crime Rate’ is a standard essay topic in schools and has been so for decades. It says something about the persistence of the phenomenon and also a manifest inability and lack of will on the part of relevant authorities to combat the menace. It points to complicity or deliberate, systematic and skilled partaking. The National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) is reported to be investigating four ministers, two deputy ministers and several provincial politicians and more..

'This is the time to repair and re-launch USA – Sri Lanka relations'

Apr 2 (DBS) The meeting in Geneva is over, leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. It’s time to put Sri Lanka’s political rebuilding on track, and repair US-Sri Lanka relations in the process. Despite the dark conspiracies being described in the Sri Lankan press, the US had hoped to avoid a confrontation in Geneva. A far preferable outcome, from Washington’s perspective, would have been for the Sri Lankan govt to use the LLRC, and more..

Editorial: An act of desperation

Apr 2 (Island) The govt's desperation seems to know no bounds. The rupee has taken a very bad tumble and the trade deficit has almost doubled in a matter of one year. Having let the grass grow under its feet, it is now struggling to curb imports. It has jacked up duties on vehicles, liquor and cigarettes. Never mind liquor and fags! Why on earth did the govt slash duties on vehicles by 50 per cent in 2010, causing vehicle imports to skyrocket from 211,679 units in 2009 to 523,963 units last year? more..

Infanticide cases on the rise

Apr 2 (SO) Dumping of new born infants in public places such as in dustbins, drains and in shrubs by mothers have become a common practice these days owing mostly to the increase in the number of illegitimate pregnancies hitherto not witnessed before. Obviously mothers resort to this heinous crime for various reasons. Children born out of wedlock are shunned in our society. Mothers too are aware of the stigma attached giving birth to fatherless children. more..

UBS issues warning on Lankan economy

Apr 2 (FT) Top investment bank UBS has issued a warning on Sri Lankan economy lowering the 2012 growth rate to 6% and suggesting a degree of overheating in addition to hinting interest rates going up, further pressure on exchange rate, interest rate and Budget deficit. The report exposes some of the mistakes made in the recent past with regard to economic management as well resultant challenges the country has to deal with in 2012 and beyond. more..

Light at the end of the tunnel

Apr 2 (Island) The thought that Sri Lanka are absolute champions at home in Test cricket took a severe beating as the national cricket team went through a period of 18 months without winning a Test. During that period among some tough assignments was a three-Test series against West Indies, in which the tourists made Sri Lanka to follow on in Galle! Last week’s 75-run win in Galle against England was much to the relief of local cricket fans. With a lot of Test cricket ahead more..

Police lackadaisical about arresting attackers of lawyer

Apr 2 (LB) Mirihana police has arrested two suspects in connection with the assault on lawyer Sumith Silva at the Nugegoda High Courts premises after he had appeared on behalf of the two suspects charged with the double homicide of Buddhist monks at the Kotte Raja Maha Vihara recently. Lawyers however charge that the police has not apprehended the real culprits. Attorney Sumith Silva had been assaulted on March 23, after a group had protested opposite the Court premises more..

Chinese firm wants to invest US$ 50bn in Sri Lanka?

Apr 2 (Island) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says a Chinese firm is planning to invest an unbelievable US$ 50 billion in Sri Lanka to develop a port city in Hambantota, which would be the largest ever foreign investment in the country at a staggering 83 percent of GDP. This was disclosed by the Ministry in a statement announcing a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of Expo 2012 last week. more..

'Govt deliberately cancelled elections'

Apr 2 (NS) The postponement of the Local Govt polls in two PS divisions of Mullaithivu was a deliberate move by the govt, alleged TULF Leader V. Anandasangaree. TULF leader said the petition filed against conducting the polls was politically motivated, as the people were willing to exercise their franchise. Speaking to The Nation, Anandasangaree pointed out that the polls could be cancelled as it had been over a year since nominations had been called for the polls. more..

Wildlife officers give up firearms

Apr 2 (NS) Wildlife officers from the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) have commenced handing over their firearms after three of their fellow officers were arrested by police after an indigenous youth was killed at the Maduru Oya National Park recently. According to S.P.G. Lionel of the ‘Vana Handa’ Wildlife Officers’ Union, the youth was killed during an exchange of fire with wildlife officers who confronted a group of poachers at the national park on the night of Mar 15. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils anchor island of hope in India

Apr 2 (LM) When Kopalapillai Ratnasingham and his wife Chandramathy set foot in their hometown Trincomalee in north-east Sri Lanka last October for the first time in more than a quarter century, they were greeted by cloudy skies, a light drizzle and a throng of relatives whose sight unleashed an emotional deluge. It was as if the floodgates had been unlocked. Tears streamed out of the couple’s eyes as long-lost aunts, more..

Lanka comedian for New Year fest in Qatar

Apr 2 (GT) The Sri Lankan community in Qatar will celebrate the dawn of the Sinhala New Year (Bak Maha Ulela 2012) and the Tamil New Year on April 13 at the Al Sadd Sports Club, from 7am to 5pm, with a break for Friday noon prayers. Sri Lankan Ambassador Jayantha Palipane will be the chief guest. The programme is being organised by the Sri Lankan embassy in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Coordinating Committee (SLCC) and the Sri Lankan Community Benevolent Fund (SLCBF). more..

'Rajiv's killing, an attack on India's status as a regional power'

Apr 2 (Hindu) India should have sent its troops back to Sri Lanka to kill or capture Velupillai Prabakaran and the LTTE leadership after the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, says a new book by a former U.S. diplomat. Rajiv Gandhi's killing was an attack on India's status as a regional power. Forcibly bringing Prabakaran to India to face trial would have sent a clear message to the region, and the world, that India would defend its political more..

Nestlé commissions Rs.10bn plant

Apr 2 (Island) Nestlé opened a new UHT milk plant at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kurunegala yesterday, marking the third phase of its investment commitment of LKR 10 billion in Sri Lanka over the next few years. The new plant is an extension of Nestlé Lanka’s current processing facilities and, together with their malt beverages plant in 2011 and noodle plant in early 2012, accounts for almost LKR 3 billion of their total LKR 10 billion more..

Anti- dengue drive: Minister wants list of abandoned premises

Apr 2 (DN) Minister Maithripala Sirisena has called for a list of abandoned lands and premises within the Colombo district following a Medical Research Institute finding that they have become active breeding grounds of the dengue mosquito, a ministry spokesman said. He said Minister has instructed health authorities to make a list of such abandoned places. "The authorities are preparing a list of abandoned houses and lands in the Colombo district with the assistance of more..

'All efforts to rid SLTB of corruption, theft in vain'

Apr 2 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama says that not even God Sakvithi could save the SLTB from corruption, theft and other forms of malpractices. He all his efforts to stop theft in that institution had been in vain. Addressing a meeting of SLTB workers to hand over letters of appointments to 260 drivers, conductors and mechanics at the Salika Hall in Narahenpita, he said the state transport service could not be developed due to corruption and theft. more..

Certain Western elements trying to snatch LLRC ownership - President

Apr 2 (DN) Certain Western elements are trying to snatch the ownership of the LLRC Report which is the govt's own initiative. They are forcing us to put into action those very recommendations contained in the LLRC Report, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. "We have followed human rights for over 2,500 years from time we embraced Buddhism. Those who have limited human rights in their countries are trying to teach us about human rights. more..

Tigers return from India on a destabilization mission – SL intelligence

Apr 2 (Island) State intelligence services have received information that around 150 terrorists who underwent a special arms training at three secret camps in Tamil Nadu, have returned to Sri Lanka and are hiding in the North and the East to carry out a destablisation campaign. Their target was to sabotage and disrupt the on-going reconciliation process by creating trouble in those areas, police sources said. Their activities came to light when three LTTE cadres more..

Boy’s body exhumed after four years

Apr 2 (ST) The body of a 14-year-old boy said to have died after being attacked by a crocodile was exhumed on the orders of the Judicial Medical Officer B. H. Samaranayake of the Hambantota Hospital on March 21 this year, almost four years after his death, A student of Weligaththa MV, Sandun Madhusanka was buried on July 16, 2008 after being reportedly attacked by a crocodile. His body was sent to the Hambantota Hospital mortuary for an autopsy after the body had more..

Country’s division, still the aim of Tiger proxies - GL

Apr 2 (DN) Minister Prof G L Peiris said although the LTTE has been militarily vanquished in Sri Lanka, its proxies and supporters abroad were using various methods and tactics at achieving their stated objective, which is to divide the country. “The need of the hour is for the public to have a clear awareness of the campaign and what is being attempted by these anti-national elements. Sri Lankans irrespective of political differences more..

Deployment in development work: Forces help govt save billions

Apr 2 (DN) The govt has been able to save billions of rupees, which otherwise would have gone into the coffers of private firms here and abroad, by deploying Security Forces for development work, instead of confining them to barracks in the aftermath of war, The involvement of the county’s Tri - Forces in development work in the aftermath of the conflict began in accordance with a proposal by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

AG’s Dept delays health warning gazette

Apr 2 (NS) The regulation on pictorial health warnings on tobacco packets had already been submitted to the Attorney General’s Department to prepare a gazette notification and action would be taken to implement the regulation shortly once the AG’s Department responded, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The delay in implementing the pictorial health warning regulation was due to the delay at the Attorney General’s Department, the Minister claimed at a meeting with the Presidents of the Cancer Care Association more..

Crash in vehicle market

Apr 2 (CT) The increase in taxes on imported cars, vans, trishaws and motorbikes is likely to lead to a crash in the vehicle market, economists warn the govt. UNP MP, Harsha De Silva, said that the increase in taxes will have a dramatic impact on the consumer. “Essentially this is going to affect the middleclass, as small vehicles are used mostly by them and they will not be able to afford them. The govt however says its objective is to more..

Transparent medicine procurement mechanisms

Apr 2 (CT) The mechanism for the procurement of medicine and surgical equipment for govt hospitals is to be changed in the interests of transparency, Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena says. A Cabinet subcommittee comprising Senior Ministers Tissa Vitarana, Sarath Amunugama and Minister Champika Ranawaka has already been appointed to look into ways and means to give effect to this. The recommendations of the subcommittee have been submitted to this Cabinet more..

DNA demands max. age for SLAS comp. exam be made 32

Apr 2 (Island) The DNA demanded in Parliament last Friday that the maximum age limit, to sit for the competitive examination for recruitment to the Sri Lanka Accounting Service (SLAS), be increased to 32 years. DNA Parliamentary Group Leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, making a special statement, said that according to the gazette notification, dated March 23, 2012, only those below the age of 28 years are eligible to sit for the examination. more..

Govt refers Trinco oil tank farm deal to AG

Apr 2 (Island) The govt has referred the lease of the 99 numbered oil tank farm at Trincomalee to Lanka Indian Oil Corporation under the UNF govt (2001-2004) to the Attorney General for legal opinion. The govet has made this decision due to a dispute over ownership of the land. It was not owned by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) with which the local subsidiary of the Fortune 500 listed Indian Oil Corporation signed the deal, more..

Seven suspects with rare conch, ammunition arrested

Apr 2 (Island) A ‘valampuri’ (a rare conch) was taken into custody by the Weeraketiya police who acted on a tip-off, while it was being transported in a van to Weeraketiya from Udawalawa area. The police arrested seven suspects with24 live cartridges, a plastic pistol and two others conches in their possession at a road block in the Weeraketiya town. The suspects were produced before the Walasmulla Magistrate and remanded. more..

Bajaj Auto slips on Sri Lanka import duty hike

Apr 2 (PTI) Bajaj Auto shares slipped over 2% on Monday on fears that a sharp hike in import duty by Sri Lanka would hurt sales of India's second largest two-wheeler maker in the island nation. Sri Lanka raised import duty on petrol powered three-wheelers to 100% from 51% effective April. While Bajaj Auto also exports motorcycles, its three-wheeler auto rickshaws find many takers in Sri Lanka. The Pune-based company exports around 10,000 three-wheelers every month to Sri Lanka. more..

'They were very professional'

Apr 2 (SL) Sagara Senaratne who was abducted in Kotte last Monday evening near Naga Viharaya Kotte believes that he was released within a few hours because of his brother-in-law Minister Jeewan Kumaratunge’s timely intervention. Minister Jeewan Kumaratunge was at a dinner with a Chinese delegation along with Mr. Mahesh, an Additional Secretary to the President at his residence when Senaratne’s driver informed him of the abduction. more..

Expo 2012: concludes with huge success for Sri Lanka Tourism

Apr 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka's premier international trade fair "Sri Lanka Expo 2012"with the attendance of over 1,300 foreign investors and buyers from across the globe, held in Colombo came to a conclusion March 31. Expo 2012, organized by the Export Development Board, provided an ideal opportunity to Sri Lanka Tourism industry to promote its product to the International Market. more..

'Borrowing as if there is no tomorrow'

Apr 2 (LB) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva criticized the govt saying that it’s going in the wrong direction with the 20% rupee depreciation and with ego boosting white elephant projects. He also argued, “what’s the whole idea behind selling Sri Lanka’s Employees Provident Fund blue chip shares to foreign funds to bring in dollars?” It’s the silliest thing to do, he says. He was also of the view that the new equilibrium will help allocate resources more efficiently. more..

'Govt. poking fun, while people struggle to make ends meet'

Apr 2 (Island) While the vast majority of people were struggling to make ends meet, the Rajapaksa regime was poking fun at them by making insulting remarks, UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake said. Addressing a news conference, Karunanayake said that the government obviously did not understand the sufferings of the poor. Else, its members would not make idiotic comments about the cost of living. more..

SAITM will have most sophisticated teaching hospital – SB

Apr 2 (Island) Higher Education Minister, S.B. Dissanayake, told Parliament that there are some professors who teach at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe while serving State universities. Responding to a special statement made by DNA MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, demanding the govt to take over the SAITM, known as the Malabe Private Medical College, the Minister said more..

US question close of fruit processing plant

Apr 2 (DM) The US Embassy in Colombo had expressed concern over the closure of the fruit processing factory situated within the premises of Sevanagala Sugar Industries Ltd which was taken over by the govt under the ‘Revival of the Underperforming and Underutilized Assets Bill’. Former Chairman Sevanagala Sugar Industries Ltd Daya Gamage said that the US Embassy that had been concerned about it and had recently inquired from him as to what is happening more..

Lanka’s first cannery opens in Galle

Apr 2 (DN) Marking yet another milestone of transforming the ocean into a lucrative resource as envisaged in the Mahinda Chintanaya, the first ever state fish canning factory in Sri Lanka will be opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Galle tomorrow. The new factory operated as a joint venture between the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation and Happy Cook Lanka Food (Pvt)Ltd is located within the Galle Fisheries Harbour premises. more..

Govt. curbing objections to taxes -JVP

Apr 2 (CT) The JVP charged that the govt has employed a ploy to curb objections to the increased taxes, which were imposed recently. Speaking at a press conference JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the govt has imposed taxes on the citizens while increasing the levies on cigarettes and alcohol so that the govt can say that the taxes were increased to discourage people from consuming alcohol. more..

'Exempt already shipped vehicles from new duty'

Apr 2 (DM) The Vehicle Importers’ Association has requested the govt to exempt already shipped vehicles from the increase in customs duty and also to allow them to import vehicles that are over two years old. The Vehicle importers’ Association of Sri Lanka’s president Yoga Perera said yesterday that they had already made this request to the govt. Mr. Perera said prospective purchasers of vehicles would have to wait for more..